"South America" (Victory; 2010)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Upstate NY quartet Thieves and Villains unveil their sophomore effort, "South America," a punchy 13-track pop-punk affair drenched in the inescapably familiar pre-teen rock sound with enough slight variations and contagious hooks that sweeten the mix and showcase substantial growth (“The Ascetic Life is For Me”).

Despite a self-induced increase of edginess and a surprising organically musical nature propelling the music to a different level, the band tends to get mired in the saccharine mindset a bit too often here to make a serious dash for the king of broken hearts crown, but does a fine job of replicating the wares of Weezer, Motion City Soundtrack, and All-American Rejects to provide an innocuous good time.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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